Url Phantomhive

Url Phantomhive

Trying to shed a light on the wonderful maze of books...

Snakes and Ladders - Tracking Post

Books Read: 3

Squares completed: 3

Currently at Square: 26




1. Author is a woman: Deadly Intent - Alice LaPlante

12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z: Blinded by the Lights - Jakub Zulczyk

16. Genre: fantasy: Priestess of the White - Trudi Canavan

26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long


4 Stars
Book Love
Book Love - Debbie Tung

How could I not request a book called Book Love on Netgalley? Besides, I previously enjoyed Quiet Girl in a Noisy World, so I really wanted to read this.

If you like books, you will probably love this book. It is filled with cute little comics about the love of books and the type of troubles we booklovers get confronted with (having to socialize while reading a very good book for example). Do not expect to find things that have not been said before or could be found on the internet, but a very nice collection nevertheless.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

4 Stars
Quiet Girl in a Noisy World
Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert's Story - Debbie Tung

This was very relatable! Many comics described exactly how I have been feeling when for example, the phone or doorbell rings. These collections tend to get a bit too much of the same after I while but this did not bother me with Quiet Girl in a Noisy World.

The drawings were very cute and I liked them a lot. Keep up the good work!

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

4 Stars
Seven Hanged
The Seven Who Were Hanged - Leonid Andreyev

Seven Hanged was exactly why I like the Little Black Classics! I had never even heard of the author, and the subject of the book was so dark (the final weeks/days of seven people condemned to death) but I really liked it.

Russian books always have this kind of depressing atmosphere, and Seven Hanged even more, but it really worked well for me. It was very interesting and also very sad, especially the end.

Recommended - but maybe not a good read at this time because it is slightly depressing.

~Little Black Classics #104~

3 Stars
Blood of Elves
Blood of Elves - Andrzej Sapkowski

I always read a lot of books at the same time. Still, I am not used to reading series back to back. Usually there are quite some other books that creep in between. It is rather rare that I am so engrossed in a series I read them all one after the other.

I think Blood of Elves suffered a little because it was the third Witcher book I was reading in one month. I wanted to read it, after the first two short story-books this was the first full novel. However, I found that I thought it was a little bit too much at this time.

Blood of Elves sort of starts where Sword of Destiny finished, but I had the same problems I had with the first two books. It is nice, although it did not feel like too much happened in this one, but not much more than that. I will continue the series, but first take a little brake.

1.5 Stars
The Golden Cage
Golden Cage - Camilla Läckberg

No, just no.

I was really excited I could read The Golden Cage through Pigeonhole. I have been a big fan of the Fjallbacka series for years (though admittedly, the last book is still waiting for me to read it). So, I was expecting a great read during these COVID-19 times, but I was very disappointed.

The Golden Cage is a 180-turn of the other books by Camilla Lackberg, in that it is not cozy at all. Instead it is filled with bad sex, bad power plays, and ridiculous schemes (one even more implausible than the other). There are so many easy coincidences that my eyes started to hurt from all the rolling they had to do. Fjallbacka is mentioned a couple of times, but all that was good about her books were clearly left back in Fjallbacka.

I do not think I will read more of her standalone books.

~Read through Pigeonhole~

2 Stars
Blinded By The Lights
Blinded By The Lights - Jakub Żulczyk

I have a strong feeling this book was not for me. I am always looking forward to books that take place outside of the beaten tracks (like US/UK/Sweden), so I was interested to see Warsaw for a change. Unfortunately, I hardly felt like the setting added anything new to the story. This could have taken place anywhere.

It focuses on a rather successful coke dealer and his troubles over a period of one week. I didn't like him at all, and it seemed a rather odd choice for a first person, and it was confusing at times since the main character is hardly a good narrator. Besides the dealing of dealers and gangsters between themselves, they did not keep me interested over the entirety of the novel.

Not for me.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

2 Stars
Oroonoko - Aphra Behn, Janet Todd

What I like about the Little Black Classics is that you are reading so many different authors, including ones that you had never heard of before encountering them in this series. Aphra Behn was one of those, and to be honest, reading about her was the most interesting part of this classic for me.

Aphra Behn was a woman far ahead of her time in the sense that she led a very interesting and independent life as -among others- a spy and wrote novels by the end of the 17th Century. So, Hooray for that!

Oroonoko is the story of an African prince (with a lot of European features it must be said) who is sold into slavery out of jealousy. While I thought the beginning of the novel was very good and interesting, it lost me half way. But nevertheless, I am glad I got to learn about Aphra Behn.

~Little Black Classics #105~

3 Stars
You: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes

This is one of the few occasions where I think that I liked the screen adaptation better than the book itself. I have to admit I saw the Netflix series first, which sort of spoiled all the plot-twists in there, but I also found Joe's voice in this one more annoying.

Sure, in the beginning there was some fun seeing Joe pointing out what is wrong with everyone he meets while blatantly missing the fact that he is the most messed up of them all. But this did get old rather quick. I still have Hidden Bodies to read, so I hope the second season deviated more from the books. 

3 Stars
Sisters - Louisa May Alcott

Until the recent Little Women movie, I have to admit I was rather unaware of the book. I knew it existed, but as one of the many classics I vaguely recognize the title of. I was completely unaware that this little book, which had been lingering on my shelves for some time, contained fragments of Little Women.

I had bought Sisters, first because I have two sisters myself and second because I wanted to try out this Vintage Mini series to see if they were as nice as the Little Black Classics (although they are about five times as expensive). Having seen the movie and making the connection, I wanted to read it.

It is a short read, selecting certain scenes of particular sisterhood between the sisters. The writing was nice, but the passages were rather short. I would however, like to read the full book sometimes. I am however, not really convinced of the Vintage Mini concept, and think I will just keep it at this one.

3 Stars
Grey Souls
Grey Souls - Philippe Claudel

Grey Souls was another bookclub read from a meeting that unfortunately could not take place due to the COVID-19 social distancing we are currently in. This was not a book I would have picked myself, and although I once read Monsieur Linh and His Child I did not remember much about it (I looked up my review and apparently, I liked it at the time).

Grey Souls is set during and after the First World War in a French village that is close to the fighting but not actually involved. Certain events take place during this time, that influence the main character as he looks back at the last twenty years. It starts with a little girl found murdered, but solving the case is hardly the main topic of the book.

For me, Grey Souls fit perfectly in the same tradition of Flemish literature, where in a small village many events are brought up over a period of time, and the reader is left to some extent to wonder, what is the meaning of this. What is the goal of this book? What is the main story. Grey Souls was very much like this, and while I do not dislike the style, I am often left with a feeling that there could have been a bit more in the story. (At some point in the book, the murdered girl had not been mentioned for so long that I started to question whether a girl was murdered in this book - a problem arising with me reading multiple book at once all the time). The writing was nice, but I fear the book all together will be forgotten soon.

3 Stars
Through The Language Glass
Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages - Guy Deutscher

I bought this book on February 1st at a bookstore in Aachen, Germany, during what they called 'Bye Bye-Brexit rabat' (Bye Bye Brexit Sale) which was 20% discount on all English books. Obviously, I couldn't resist.

I went on to convince the book club I recently joined to read it as our next read, but unfortunately because of the entire Covid19 situation, we haven't had the possibility to discuss the book. I now feel a little bit sorry for them, as the book was not really what I hoped it would be.

The subject fascinates me. When I was a small child, growing up speaking Dutch, for a time I believed (I am embarrassed to admit) that everyone always thought in Dutch, but that two French people for example, would then decide to speak French to each other. I quickly learned this was not the case, but it kept me interested in how someones language might influence how people think. Which is why I wanted to read Through the Language Glass.

The author himself is very much interested in colors. And a large part of the book is in fact about the evolution of the naming of colors in languages. While interesting, I thought it was rather a bit too extensive. The remainder of the book was filled with some interesting facts, which might come to use at a pub quiz but the argument for the influence between language and thought was never very strong.

Most interestingly I found the argument that some languages are forcing people to convey information in a certain sentence that other do not. For example, if your languages has changing verbs announcing how certain you are something happened, you have to think about it before making that sentence. If you have different verbs for something that happened one day or a week ago, again you have to think about. Same for languages who unlike English have gendered words.

Ultimately, the effect that was measured was rather small, I'd argue. While difficult to measure objectively, is thinking colors are further apart from each other when they cross an arbitrary color-name boundary something that is important enough to consider this a significant effect of language on thought? I am not convinced. 

3 Stars
Deadly Intent
Deadly Intent - Lynda La Plante

Deadly Intent was a book that had been lurking on my shelves for the past 6 years. I bought it during a time I was reading a lot of police procedurals and I had heard the name of Lynda La Plante often so I wanted to give it a try.

It comes in over 600 pages and makes you wonder. Does a police procedural need to be thing long? The answer is probably no. I felt it could have been shortened with at least a hundred pages without losing any of the information in it.

This is the fourth book in the series, but the first one I read. Therefore I was not as connected with the characters as could have been. There was quite some tension, with the main character Anna making some stupid decisions.

As a crime novel, it was fine, but not the kind of special I had hoped for. (This is also much less my genre now than it was back when I bought it, which my account for some of it).

3 Stars
Finna - Nino Cipri

You are leisurely strolling through a large yellow and blue home depot when you accidentally walk into a wormhole. It could happen to the best of us. The unfortunate problem is, the underpaid employees will have to come and fetch you back.

I was expecting a quirky read, possibly with a lot of humor, because the premise did not seem all that serious. And some of it was. However, there was also a lot of romantic troubles between the two main characters (and in the span of this novella, it seemed to me it was taking up rather a large part of the story). This caused the rest (the actually multiverse) to feel tagged onto the story rather than the other way around. Also, some very stupid actions from the main characters, who have clearly never learnt anything about multiverses etc.

3 Stars
O Frabjous Day!
O Frabjous Day! - Lewis Carroll

I am not overly familiar with Lewis Carroll's work since I never liked Alice in Wonderland too much (the movies, never read the books). His poetry was completely new to me, but after I recently read Edward Lear's nonsense poetry (which was being compared as similar to Lewis Carroll) I was not looking forward to reading O Frabjous Day!. But, every week a Little Black Classics means reading one every week, so here we are.

My expectations were really low for this one, but I found it made at least way more sense than the Lear poems. Some of them still didn't resonance with me at all. But the hunting of the Snark was kind of nice, even though the rhyming was very nursery rhyme-y.

~Little Black Classics #106~

Yeay! They Brought Back The Games!

It's back to playing Bookish Snakes and Ladders this year!

And while being in isolation, surely I must be able to keep up with it, no?


I already have multiple candidates to fill square one!



1. Author is a woman

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